Meet the Administration

Rabbi Daniel Nevins, Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School and dean of the Division of Religious Leadership, JTS

Rabbi Daniel Nevins

Rabbi Daniel Nevins is Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School and dean of the Division of Religious Leadership at The Jewish Theological Seminary. In addition to leading The Rabbinical School, he also oversees the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music and the Center for Pastoral Education at JTS. Rabbi Nevins teaches courses in professional skills and serves on the Chancellor's Academic Council. Before returning to JTS in 2007, he served for 13 years as the rabbi of Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Rabbi Nevins serves in a number of leadership positions for the Conservative Movement. He is currently co-chair of the Leadership Council of Conservative Judaism and a member of the Executive Council of the Rabbinical Assembly, where he is on the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS). He is also a member of the Joint Placement and Keruv commissions. Rabbi Nevins has written decisions of Jewish law in the fields of bioethics, disabilities, technology, and sexuality for the CJLS, and has also published chapters in recent books such as Jewish Theology in our Time (Jewish Lights, 2010) and The Observant Life (Aviv Press, in publication).

Rabbi Nevins grew up in New Jersey, received his BA in History from Harvard College, and his MA and rabbinical ordination from JTS. He lives with his family in New York City.


Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay, Associate Dean of The Rabbinical School

Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay (LC '96, DS '08, RS '08) is the associate dean of The Rabbinical School, where she directs its field education program. Rabbi Ruskay's career has focused on the intersection between social justice and Jewish life. She previously served in leadership roles at AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps, JOIN for Justice, American Jewish World Service and Auburn Theological Seminary. Rabbi Ruskay brings deep passion and commitment to helping train, support, and nurture emerging religious leaders to effectively pursue justice in a way that is rooted in and nourished by Jewish life.

Rabbi Ruskay lives in New York City with her family.


Rabbi Joel Alter, Director of Admissions

Rabrabbi joel alterbi Joel Alter is director of Admissions for The Rabbinical School and the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music of The Jewish Theological Seminary. He comes to JTS after 16 years of service at Jewish day schools in Washington DC, Baltimore, and Boston. A teacher of Tanakh, rabbinics, and Jewish living to children in grades K to 12, Rabbi Alter helped shape the schools in which he served through administrative and curricular leadership. His dual commitments during that time were to Jewish pluralism and building mission-driven institutions, both of which continue to inform his current role at JTS.

Rabbi Alter earned his BA in Jewish History at Columbia University, and rabbinic ordination and MA in Jewish Education at JTS. He trained for school leadership in the Day School Leadership Training Institute of JTS, and also studied at the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Ordained while still in the closet, Joel is proud to serve at JTS as an openly gay rabbi. He serves on the board of Nehirim, a national Jewish LGBT community. Shabbat, Torah, Hebrew, hiking, good friends, and good food are among the things that bring him joy. He lives in Washington Heights.